Friday, March 25, 2022

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin on love and discipleship

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (Born June 11, 1917- 99 years ago today! Died December 1, 2008) served as a Seventy from 1976 to 1986, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles from 1986 until his passing in 2008 at age 91.
"The measure of our love is the measure of the greatness of our souls.
"The scriptures tell us that 'if any man love God, the same is known of him' (1 Corinthians 8:3). What a wonderful promise—to be known of Him. It makes the spirit soar to think that the Creator of heaven and earth could know us and love us with a pure, eternal love.
"In 1840 the Prophet Joseph sent an epistle to the Twelve wherein he taught that 'love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity, and ought to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God. A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race' (History of the Church, 4:227).
"As we reach out in love to those around us, we fulfill the other half of the great commandment to 'love thy neighbour as thyself' (Galatians 5:14).
"Both commandments are necessary, for as we bear one another's burdens, we fulfill the law of Christ (see Galatians 6:2).
"Love is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the pathway of discipleship. It comforts, counsels, cures, and consoles. It leads us through valleys of darkness and through the veil of death. In the end love leads us to the glory and grandeur of eternal life."
- Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Great Commandment," Ensign, Nov. 2007, pp. 28-31
Click here to read the full talk

I love Elder Wirthlin's gentle invitation to better discipleship. The first statement of this excerpt is profound: "The measure of our love is the measure of the greatness of our souls." And then he elaborates; we must first love God, deeply and completely. I love the promise from Paul's letter to the Corinthians that teaches how we are "known of God" as we come to love Him.

But the love of God is not passive; it leads us to love one another, to express our love in our interactions with those around us, as Joseph Smith taught beautifully:

Finally,  Elder Wirthlin's summary is beautifully written. This paragraph reminds us of the all-encompassing nature of love, and its power and ability to bless in profound ways.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2022)
June 11, 2016

No comments:

Post a Comment

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15